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Sol promises to help city land grabbers

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Members of the Sol Plaatje mayoral committee yesterday promised to provide alternative plots for land grabbers and basic services for 5 000 people who are relocated.

Members of the Sol Plaatje mayoral committee yesterday promised to provide alternative plots for land grabbers and basic services for 5 000 people who are relocated. Picture: Soraya Crowie

MEMBERS of the Sol Plaatje mayoral committee yesterday promised to provide alternative plots for land grabbers and basic services for 5 000 people who are relocated.

The head of settlements at Sol Plaatje Municipality, Ronney Morwe, said that the municipality would provide basic services to 5 000 people in informal settlements that qualified.

“The number of people who will be assisted has increased from 1 004 to 5 000 people. The problem arose due to a shortage of land for habitation, which we are trying to resolve,” said Morwe yesterday.

He added that alternative land had been offered along with the eviction notices that were served on people who had erected shacks at the Phutanang Cemetery in Galeshewe.

“The problem is that people do not want to move from the land. It is inhumane to occupy land in a cemetery that is supposed to be the grounds where people are supposed to be laid to rest in a dignified manner. This is in contravention of the by-laws and regulations and we have engaged with them and have urged them to comply.”

Morwe pointed out that many of the people who were on the land illegally, owned houses.

“It is easy to detect on the system who has already been allocated space.”

A member of the committee on safety and security, Benjamin Plaatjie, believes that communities are being misled into invading land.

A member of the utility committee, Jozi Themba Gomba, added that land had been identified near Vuyolwethu Secondary School in Ipeleng for middle income housing beneficiaries.

“The land near the school has been occupied illegally although it has no basic services. Now we will first have to deal with the invaders.”

He stated that a number of areas had also been identified in the CBD and townships for middle income earners.

“We are in the process of identifying housing beneficiaries in Soul City. This process is being overseen by the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs.”

He added that communal taps and chemical toilets would be provided to persons who are relocated from land that is being occupied, to the designated areas.

“The ultimate aim is for everyone to own their own house, with their own toilets and running water, once bulk infrastructure has been installed.”

The chairperson of the Integrated Development Plan, Lucia Nonyameko Shushu, said the electrification of Ivory Park, where the municipality intends moving a number of land invaders, had been completed.

“Sanitation will be provided for the entire area,” Shushu added.